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Pac Rim Countries To Penalise Pirates After Dallas Finding

Pac Rim Countries To Penalise Pirates After Dallas Finding

An intellectual property expert has tipped the new agreement will now probably include criminal penalties for some forms of copyright infringement.

ANU Associate Professor Matthew Rimmer told Fairfax Media the US strategy is to expand criminal offences for copyright law and trademark law.

He said the Dallas Buyers Club dispute attracted attention because it highlights policy efforts to have tougher, stronger copyright protection in the online environment.

Kimberlee Weatherall, an intellectual property expert at the University of Sydney Law School, said the 2004 Australia-US Free Trade Agreement created some new offences relating to copyright infringement on a commercial scale.

But the TPP may go a step further and extend criminal sanctions to private acts carried out for financial gain. Weatherall said this would cover movie downloading where users are avoiding payment.

She added that, under the likely penalties of the TPP, the possibility of people being sued for copyright infringement could not be ruled out, but they are more likely aimed at being a deterrent to scare illegal downloaders.

The move would be a game-changer for companies such as iiNet which was heavily involved in the Dallas Buyers Club controversy.

The Federal Court last week ordered iiNet and associated ISPs to hand over the names and addresses of 4726 customers who allegedly shared pirated copies of the Oscar-winning film.